On the schedule yesterday was my long run. I slacked off a little over Christmas week, and in coming back, I usually find the long run the toughest to get back into the groove for.
There was no question that I was doing it though. The only question was where. I've been something of a weather wimp lately, and with a track at my work and a treadmill in my basement, it's been easy to avoid winter on my runs. I don't even hate the "dreadmill" or track. I can usually find my groove on them, so there's not too much discouragement in getting on them.
Having said that, when I considered a treadmill run, it held no appeal for me. Likewise with the track. Outside? I didn't really feel like it either, but it was more appealing and if I wanted to get back in gear, it was going to have to happen. And there was really no excuse in the weather. It was about -4C (25F), which for a Canadian girl is practically balmy. Calm, with minimal wind (which is rare here), and sunny.
Getting out the door proved to be a challenge though. My husband did a run first (on the treadmill), so I waited until he was done. He took longer then I expected. Then when I prepared to go, I couldn't seem to find anything. My running tights? Hat? Gloves? Heart rate monitor? Etc... Everything seemed to be in my black hole of clutter.
The run just seemed to have everything against it.
Finally I managed to get out the door. A good hour and a half later then planned. No heart rate monitor and a different hat then planned, but reasonably well equipped. I walked down to the river - about a 2 minute walk. Then I started to run. Slowly at first.
No matter how long I've been running for, I always get that urge to walk in the first 10 minutes. Yesterday was no exception. At best that first 10 minutes was mediocre. I expect that though. While that blah feeling could signal something later in a run, at the start, it's simply the hump I have to get over. If anything, I was expecting that hump to be bigger then usual.
Then I reached my first turn around point. I was along my zen run path, a favourite section. And things just clicked. I was in the zone. The perfect rhythm. Past the hump and flying along. One of those perfect runs, in the sunshine and snow.
Runs like this are why I run. Races are awesome, but let's be honest, most of us average one race a month - at most. But when every run holds this possibility, it's worth it.